Un Amico Italiano: Eat, Pray, Love in Rome [NOOK Book]


"Luca Spaghetti is not only one of my favorite people in the world, but also a natural-born storyteller. . . . This [is a] marvelous book." -Elizabeth Gilbert

When Luca Spaghetti (yes, that's really his name) was asked to show a writer named Elizabeth Gilbert around Rome, he had no idea how his life was about to change. She embraced his Roman ebullience, and Luca in turn ...
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Un Amico Italiano: Eat, Pray, Love in Rome

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"Luca Spaghetti is not only one of my favorite people in the world, but also a natural-born storyteller. . . . This [is a] marvelous book." -Elizabeth Gilbert

When Luca Spaghetti (yes, that's really his name) was asked to show a writer named Elizabeth Gilbert around Rome, he had no idea how his life was about to change. She embraced his Roman ebullience, and Luca in turn became her guardian angel, determined that his city would help Liz out of her funk.

Filled with colorful anecdotes about food, language, soccer, daily life in Rome, and Luca's own fish-out-of-water moments as a visitor to the United States-and culminating with the episodes in Liz's bestselling memoir, told from Luca's side of the table-Un Amico Italiano is a book that no fan of Eat, Pray, Love will want to miss.

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Editorial Reviews

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If only to prove that Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert did not take umbrage at this memoir's subtitle tribute, we should quote her praise of its author: "Luca Spaghetti is not only one of my favorite people in the world, but also a natural-born storyteller....This [is a] marvelous book." This oddly-surnamed author appeared, of course, under his real name in Gilbert's super-selling (9+ million copies) memoir; now he emerges in his own book, perhaps best described as an account of Luca's long-running love affair with Rome and his deep flirtation with America. Un Amico Italiano also includes Spaghetti's own delightful takes on his early encounters with Gilbert. A paperback original and a NOOKbook.

Publishers Weekly
Spaghetti (his real name) met Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, during her momentous journey through Rome in 2003 and sparked a friendship that deeply inspires this personable memoir about being a Roman. Spaghetti grew up in in that city, lived on Via Gregorio VII, and shares some of the peculiar loves and mannerisms of the dyed-in-the-wool Roman, such as an ironical sense of humor, a laid-back style of work ("the beauty of Rome... distracts us from our working"), a penchant for multicourse meat-heavy meals, a fanatical devotion to the S.S. Lazio soccer team (as opposed to their arch-rivals, A.S. Roma), and Sunday family rituals. As a kid, Spaghetti (who was always embarrassed by his name, although his grandmother insisted it would someday bring him luck) was heavily influenced by American music, especially his hero James Taylor, and later fashioned a rock group named John Horse Quartet by translating into English the leader's name, Gianni Cavallo. After graduating from university, Spaghetti made an impressive journey by Amtrak across the American continent, a trip he delineates with youthful enthusiasm. Back in Rome to become a tax accountant, one of the most "hated and feared" professions in Italy, he met Gilbert and introduced her to such quintessential Roman activities as eating pajata (calf intestines) and cursing at soccer matches. His amicable, colloquial narrative can be seen as a nice companion to hers. (May)
Library Journal
In her wildly popular Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert introduces her readers to a Roman friend with the unlikely name Spaghetti. This memoir is his attempt to jump on the fame train. His exuberant account of his relationship with Gilbert is fleshed out with his passions for soccer, food, music, James Taylor, New York City, and Rome. The book begins with a chapter on Spaghetti's surname, a source of childhood teasing and embarrassment, and ends with a useful glossary of Italian/Roman dishes. Gilbert turned out to be more fun than Spaghetti initially imagined, and the two thirtysomethings ended up friends who shared numerous meals, a soccer game, and Spaghetti's Thanksgiving birthday celebration. VERDICT This is all good fun, and Spaghetti comes across as an enthusiastic puppy dog kind of guy. However, this book would likely not have been published without the association with Gilbert's best seller and the film. Still, her fans may create demand for this opportunistic spin-off.—Janet Ross, formerly with Sparks Branch Lib., NV
Kirkus Reviews

A Roman tax accountant befriends a heartbroken American journalist with heartwarming results.

In 2003, when Eat Pray Love author Elizabeth Gilbert nursed a broken heart with a triple-destination journey abroad, her first stop was Rome, where a mutual friend surmised that she and Spaghetti (his real name) would hit it off. Spaghetti's endearing three-part narrative begins with his colorful Italian childhood, wrestling with a surname that begged for mockery and nurturing a love for professional soccer and folk music (James Taylor). He then details time spent immersed in American culture during a "dream" trip to Manhattan and a lengthy but magical cross-country excursion to the California coast by train in 1995. The final section chronicles his "extraordinary" friendship with Gilbert in Rome. An accommodating host, Spaghetti enriched Gilbert's three-month stay by steeping her in Italian culture as they toured Rome "inch by inch" on a scooter. Gilbert's easy smile and big-hearted compassion was returned by Spaghetti, who brought folkloric history, breathtaking scenery and a love of spectator sports and food to the table, especially dramatic descriptions (recipes and glossary included) of traditional "fettuccine al ragu" and 190-proof homemade limoncello, which could "cut your legs off at the knees after your second tiny glassful." Part memoir, part informative guidebook, Spaghetti's anecdotes are plentiful and immensely entertaining. He shares his "personal pasta ranking system," in which "rebellious" bucatini earns first place but proves a "natural sauce catapult," notes the ever-present "mocking, humorous tone" of the typical Roman personality and demonstrates an uncanny ability to present classic Italian landmarks and histories with the charm and passion of a seasoned tour guide. The author's literary voice is undeniably warm and welcoming as both friends engaged in a cross-cultural exchange—a "different kind of love" that has been fondly immortalized in Gilbert's bestselling book.

An enticing entrée of sweet amity and savory memories.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101514061
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 4/26/2011
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 728,729
  • File size: 214 KB

Meet the Author

Luca Spaghetti was born and lives in Rome. He loves Roman cooking, American music, and the Lazio soccer team. This is his first book.

Antony Shugaar is a writer and translator. Among his recent translations is Sandokan by Nanni Balestrini, for which he was awarded a 2007 NEA translation fellowship.
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2012


    I read this and i thought it was ok,but i would have expected more from a book that was talking on his side of the experience.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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